I Wish This Was

Infusing street art and urban planning, I Wish This Was is a participatory project that reveals people’s dreams for their own communities. In 2010, artist Candy Chang posted thousands of “I wish this was ___” stickers on vacant buildings across New Orleans to invite residents to easily share their hopes for these spaces. An experiment in civic input on-site, responses ranged from the functional to the poetic: I wish this was… a butcher shop, a community garden, a place to sit and talk, an affordable farmers’ market, not lowering my property value, full of nymphomaniacs with PhDs, what you need, your dream. Featured in the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, this project has continued on through the passionate work of communities around the world and provokes new insights for what a community might yet become.

Anyone interested in using the stickers are welcome to print their own by downloading these files. Stickers should be made of vinyl, not paper, so they can easily be removed without damaging property. To those concerned about the subjunctive mood (“I wish this was” vs. “I wish this were”): Long discussions on the topic suggest that both usages are acceptable. This project is about striking up a casual conversation in the city.


2010, New Orleans, Louisiana and worldwide. Vinyl stickers, permanent markers, vacant buildings. 4.5″ x 3″ each. Initially created with support by the Ethnographic Terminalia exhibition. Subsequent installations include: City of Salisbury, Salisbury, South Australia, 2013; Museum of Design Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia, 2014; Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, California, 2015; Sarah Stein and Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, Arkansas, 2016; Other Fest 2017, Perak, Malaysia; Sarah Bregant and Northwest Side Community Development Corporation, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2018; Beta – Timișoara Architecture Biennial 2022, Timișoara, Romania, 2022.